(VIDEO) Shas Chairman Eli Yishai apparently refuses to acknowledge the fact that homosexuality is not perceived as an incurable disease in modern Israel. In an interview aired on the Knesset Channel Wednesday evening, Yishai made his stance clear by saying that "homosexuals and lesbians are sick people."
Video: Courtesy of Knesset Channel
"I wish them a speedy recovery," Yishai said when asked about his position on Israel's homosexual community.
"Up to a few years ago, they would be exempt from military service. It's clearly a disease. I didn’t determine this, the science of medicine did. It's a disease. The Torah talks about its severity, and I wish them a speedy recovery. I'm not hiding it," he added.
When asked if he believes homosexuals and lesbians should be treated in order to "cure" them, Yishai made it clear that "I see it as a medical problem."
"You are denying the truth. Up to a number of years ago, homosexuals would be defined as people with a medical problem. Ask all doctors, who for dozens of years saw it as a medical problem," he said.
'Medication would be huge hit'
Later, when asked is as health minister he would work to extend the medicine basket and introduce a special drug for "treating homosexuality," Yishai insisted that "I sincerely hope that they are cured of this thing. A medication for homosexuality has not been invented yet, but I hope it is found."
Yishai has no doubts that a "medication" for the "serious illness" will be a huge hit.
"If there were such a medication, believe me, they would gladly take it. If there was a pill to cure them, they would all go and take it. If it had a medication, they would prefer to fix it, one by one, and take the drug," he concluded.
Responding to Yishai's remarks, Knesset Member Ilan Leibovitch (Shinui) said "Eli Yishai and his friends are the real disease in Israeli society."
Leibovitch, who serves as head of the gay lobby in the Knesset, said Yishai and his associates "are a malignant tumor that jeopardizes the Israeli society. They feed on hatred to those who are different and wish to transform Israel into a third-world state."